Our Family Legacy
John Parker, son of Thomas Parker and Elizabeth Lovett
John Parker was born April 28, 1818 at Leicester, Leicestershire, England. He was the oldest son, but second child of Thomas Parker and Elizabeth Lovett. John's older sister Hosanna was born June 30, 1816. She died January 17, 1817. John's younger sister Rosanna was born October 9, 1832 and his younger brother Henry was born in 1825.
John was often ill when he was young. He was considered a delicate child which was of great concern to his parents. He was a small man, medium height but what he lacked in size he made up in charm and personality and his willingness to serve his neighbors, his family, and his Church. He was loyal and took great pride in his work.
John was married at the age of nineteen to Maria Scott, daughter of Joseph Scott. Maria was born February 24, 1817 at Leicester, Leicestershire, England. John and Maria were married December 24, 1837. Six children were born to this couple: a daughter Jane, September 1, 1838; a son William born September 15, 1840, he died January 28, 1841; another son William born September 13, 1843, he died December 28, 1843; a son Nephi Moroni born March 13, 1845, he died April 10, 1845; a son Alma Moroni born March 9, 1846; and a daughter Louisa born September 18, 1848.
John and Maria felt keenly the loss of their babies and when missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints came to their door John's heart welcomed the Gospel and the message of hope of a life after death that the Gospel brings. John and Maria were converted to the Church. John was baptized February 25, 1844 by Isaac Moore and was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on that same day by Thomas Margaretts. Maria was not baptized until September 6, 1845.
John and Maria separated a few years later and the children, Jane, Alma and Louise went with their father. He did not divorce his wife because the English laws made it almost impossible to obtain a divorce so under English law he could not marry again. John lived with Ann Hubbard as man and wife for several years before they were legally married September 9, 1861. Ann helped John care for his three children and they became the parents of twelve children. The children in order of their birth were: Rose Hannah, Thomas James, John George, Samuel, Henry, Frank, Oscar Fitzallen, Arthur Fitzallan, Joshua and Caleb (twin boys), Agnes, and Elizabeth.
Ann Hubbard has born June 26, 1832 at Mount Sorrel, Leicestershire, England. She was the daughter of William Hubbard and Elizabeth Smith. She had four brothers: John, William, George, and Samuel and a sister Ann Elizabeth. She was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Day Saints January 21, 1851 by John Wilson and was confirmed by him on the same day.
Ann's father died when she was just a, young girl, leaving her mother a family of six children to care for. Ann was the oldest of the family. As a girl she was wonderful with her needle. She loved to sew and did lovely needle work. At the age of ten she worked a "motto" that took first prize at the fair and which she gave to her daughter Agnes. It was a treasure in Agnes's home. Ann's mother taught school for a living and when Ann was fifteen years old she taught school under her mother's supervision.
John Parker was called to be the President of the Leicester Branch of the Church February 2, 1869. A position he faithfully filled until May 29, 1872. John was also called to do missionary work. He had to walk many miles to do his missionary work and it was said that some people would throw eggs and other things at him as he went by because they resented is religious beliefs.
His door was always open to the missionaries of the Church and some of the missionaries that stayed at his home at different times were Apostle Charles C. Rich, Brigham Young Jr., Amasa M. Lyman, Joseph Rich. Wilford Woodruff, Isaac Kimball, David Kimball, William Budge, Peter Nebeker, and Lorenzo Farr. These men were all quite prominent in early Church History.
John Parker worked for over forty years for a cloth Manufacturing company, Richard Harris and Sons, of Leicester, England. He was the head engineer over many standing engineers in this factory. Leicester was situated on a river and at times the City of Leicester would have some bad floods that would affect many of the company employees and his neighbors and at these times John would help the people because of his engineering knowledge. Ann Parker often took in work from the factory that John worked at so as to help provide for the big family.
It was always a great day when the missionaries would come and stay at the Parker home and there were many times when the missionaries were there that Ann would stay up nights to wash and iron their clothes for them so they would be ready when they would leave in the morning. She cooked dinners for the missionaries when she knew they were coming. Ann often told the missionaries that she felt that she should be doing more in the Church and one of them said to her, "Sister Parker, you are doing a wonderful work with the big family you are raising and the many good deeds you are doing for the Church members".
John and Ann Parker had a great desire to come to America so as to be closer to the Church. By careful planning they were able to send some of the older children before the entire family could afford to make the trip. Alma Moroni came over in 1864, Rose Hannah in 1869 and Thomas James in 1870. It took them seven years to save for the rest of the family of twelve to come. Jane the oldest daughter had married and decided to stay in England. It was very hard for John and Ann to leave the six sons and one daughter that had died and were buried in England.
John Parker and his family left from Liverpool, England on the steamship “Idaho”. The following account was taken from Church records in Salt Lake City. “The Steamship Idaho sailed from Liverpool, England on October 17, 1877 with one hundred fifty saints, including twelve returning Elders, in charge of Elder William Paxman. A number of excellent singers were among the company who did much to enliven the time. The ship arrived in New York October 29, 1877. Continuing the journey by rail in of charge of Elder Paxman, they arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah November 7. 1877”.
While on board the ship, John's daughter Agnes, seven old, was standing by her father. She stepped upon the railing of the ship and her feet slipped from under her but she held on to the railing. John caught her by her clothing and pulled her back up and cuddled her to him. Then took her to her mother telling her what had happened. Her mother said that it was the hand dealings of the Lord that had saved her daughter's life. They were twelve days on the ship and were very happy when the trip was over and they were on their way to Utah.
From the journal pages of a son, Henry Parker, he writes “Our family took the train from Salt Lake City and we arrived in Evanston, Wyoming on November 7, 1877. We traveled by horse and buggy to Randolph and stayed with my sister Rose Hannah, who came to America about seven years before and who had married Walter Norris of Randolph, Utah. We stayed with my sister for about one week then all came to Liberty, Bear Lake, Idaho and have lived here ever since”.
John Parker's family arrived in Liberty, Idaho November 17, 1877 and lived there that winter. In the spring they moved to South Liberty (later changed to Lanark) and built a house on land owned by their son Thomas. John went to work for Nat Hodges of Laketown, Utah in his mill as an engineer.
John and. Ann received their endowments and were sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City July 6, 1882.
John also received his United States citizenship papers November 23, 1882. They were issues by Judge John T. Morgan and witnessed by Joseph D. Rich and Walter Hoge. Under the U.S. Naturalization laws existing at that time (1882) all minor children of a family also became a citizen of the United States. Therefore, Oscar, Arthur, Caleb, Agnes, and Annie, children of John's family also became citizens with their father.
One day John was sitting at the end of his house when a team and buggy stopped at the front gate and someone called out, “Howdy Brother John”. At first he did not know who it was but only for a moment, then he called out, “Mother, come see who is here”. It was Brother Joseph F, Smith and Francis M. Lyman and two of their daughters. John and Ann had them stay for dinner and the family all enjoyed their company very much.
John and his family would have to walk two miles to their Church meetings in Liberty. Fast Meeting was held at ten o'clock on the first Thursday of the month and he always took his fast offerings to this meeting. He was a faithful tithe payer. He was a ward teacher for many years and held several important positions in the Liberty Ward. He was always at Church on Sunday mornings and at Sacrament Meetings. He was a man that loved his wife and family very much and always showed his love for then.
John Parker died at the age of seventy-three November 27, 1891 at Liberty, Idaho and was buried in the Liberty Cemetery November 30, 1891.
John Parker had a very strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel. He had many faith promoting incidents in his life. One that he would tell was that at the time of his conversion to the Church he had always used and had a strong desire for liquor and tobacco. When he learned and was told that he must obey the Word of Wisdom, he prayed to the Lord for help. He told the Lord that he needed and must have help to overcome these habits and at once the desire for these things was taken from him and never came back.
It was very hard for Ann and her family after her husband's death, but Ann had always tried to make the best of any difficult situation. One thing that was of great help was that she was not afraid of the Indians and there were quite a number that would come to her door. She would cut large slices of bread and spread butter or honey on then and take them out to the waiting red men. She would say, “We must be kind and feed our Lamanite brothers”.
Ann Parker would work at any job she could get. She and her daughter Agnes would carry their tubs and walk miles to do the washings for people who were ill. Sometimes they would pay her with a pan of grease for soap or some meat or some other things for their services.
Ann and her children had a big garden and she also raised chickens. Every Saturday she would put on a bonnet and her shawl and someone would take her and her basket of eggs to Montpelier to exchange for flour and sugar and other necessities. One Saturday her grandson Thomas Parker was taking her to Montpelier to do her weekly shopping. He was driving a team of horses and a sleigh that belonged to her son Henry. The team became frightened and ran, this threw Ann out of the sleigh breaking her leg and bruising her badly. Due to her age the bone took a long time to heal and she was in bed for many weeks. Her family and her neighbors took care of her and they loved doing it, but Ann insisted that she was a burden to them.
Ann served as a Relief Society teacher in the Liberty Ward, under Sister Margaret Morgan, for several years. The Lanark Ward was organized August 13, 1893 and on November 16, the Lanark Ward Relief Society was organized and Ann Parker was chosen as First Counselor and held this office for six years. She was a faithful worker in the Relief Society up to the time of her death.
The children and grandchildren of Ann Parker loved to go to her home. Many of her grandchildren will remember the white peppermint candy that Grandmother Parker always had in her pockets to give to then.
Ann was a short woman, quite heavy and was always very neat in her dress. She loved people and had many friends. She was an excellent housekeeper and had a place for everything and everything was in its place. She was a very good cook and was noted for her Yorkshire Pudding which she would serve with roast beef. Ann crocheted lacy caps from thread. She wore these caps over her hair. Her granddaughter Lillian Toomer Cook loved to watch her crochet them and told us they were very lovely and that Grandma wore them all the time on her hair.
After Ann's accident Lillian Toomer stayed most of the time with her grandmother and helped her in her home. The last day that Ann Parker lived four of her grandchildren were with her and they were making candy. Those at her home were, Irwin Parker who lived with her, Harvey Parker, William Toomer and Lillian Toomer. They all stayed at the home that night and Lillian slept with her grandmother. About five in the morning Grandmother woke Lillian and asked her if she could see Lester over by the curtains and Lillian said that she could not see him. Lester was Lillian's brother who had died years before. Soon after that, about five thirty a.m. Grandmother Ann Parker died, June 1, 1914.
I, Edith Parker Haddock, want to tell what my mother told me. She had been in Lanark helping with someone who was sick and on her way home to Paris she called to see her mother-in-law Ann Parker. Mother found the young folks making candy and Ann said to her, “If I didn't furnish the things they couldn't make the candy”. Then she turned to my mother and said, “I don't feel very well, I don't have much appetite”.
Death came early the next morning, June 1, 1914 at her home in Lanark, Idaho. She was buried in the Liberty Cemetery June 4, 1914. She was eighty-one years, eleven months and five days old when she died.
Ann was the mother of twelve children, nine boys and three girls, four of whom preceded her in death. She was the grandmother of eighty-seven and the great grandmother of twenty-eight at her passing.
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